Tag Archives: academia

WHAT IS THE WORST ACADEMIC OFFENSE?

PLAGIARISM!!! This is what I believe to be the worst academic offense. According to the University of Oxford[1], Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or idea as your own, with or without their consent. My reference to the university of oxford is an example of how to acknowledge a source. Plagiarism is very common, and it proves a lack of understanding or knowledge in your essay or academic work.

In the past years as both an undergraduate and a postgraduate student, I have been a victim of plagiarism unknowingly and knowingly lol. This was either due to my impatience or lack of interest in a particular essay. However as a research student, I have learnt that the same time I spent paraphrasing a particular term would have been the same time I would have spent to think properly and have a good understanding of the topic. A lot of students are victims of this act, I do understand that as students there are times we can’t meet up to deadlines and want a shortcut but that is very wrong and not an excuse. Apart from the academic sanctions for perpetrators, education is quite expensive which a lot of people/students have sacrificed a lot to be in the academic world, therefore I believe we should be very focused and willing to think or create new ideas instead of borrowing or using someone else’s knowledge.

There are several types and forms of plagiarism, however, I will be explaining the forms in the context of the types of plagiarism, which are:

 Self-Plagiarism: Submitting his/her previous work either it is part of the work or the full work. Using myself as an example, I had my master’s dissertation in the topic ‘Corporal punishment of children in Nigeria’ which is related to my Ph.D. thesis ‘How does the Nigerian government enforce the security of child’s rights? An analysis of corporal punishment in public schools’. I got tempted to use some part of my master’s thesis into my PhD thesis, but it is wrong, and I avoided doing such, this is also to avoid academic dishonesty. YES, I am sure some people will say I can do anything with any of my academic work, sorry, you can’t except in situations where approval is granted. Another example of self-plagiarism is submitting the same work in two different academic institutions or authorities. Even though they are the same or similar topic, the context must be different or referenced properly.

 Direct Plagiarism: This includes word for word quotations without referencing the source, the act of cutting and pasting from the internet is wrong in the academic realm. For example, as a law student, there are several laws that I cannot paraphrase because they are laws, therefore I quote them with inverted commas to indicate that words are exactly the same from the same and then I reference them accordingly.

 Mosaic Plagiarism: The act of using phrases from other sources without using quotation marks or paraphrasing or writing it in halves. Paraphrasing is reasonably essential. However, it is wrong to paraphrase a work with the intention of claiming ownership of the idea.

 Accidental Plagiarism: In instances where the source is not mentioned or is incorrect. It is important to use the correct referencing style, depending on the discipline.

Avoiding plagiarism will help to have an opinion of oneself, instead of relying of other scholarly work or writers. It is difficult to have a personal view or opinion, however, that is why you are in academics.


[1] https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism

THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS: 15 Facts about Human Rights

Human rights are moral principles or norm that describes certain standards conducts of human behaviour which people from around the world have agreed are essential. 

1) Human rights are the total sum of civil, political, individual and collective rights in every states and countries of the world enshrined in their legslations and laws.

2) Human rights covers every aspect of a persons life.

3) Human Rights are inalienable, in other words, no person can be divested of his right. This is although subject to legal circumstances like where the person has committed an offence.

4) All of the Human rights are interwoven, indivisible and interrelated. One cannot be breached without affecting the other.

5) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides thirty (30) articles of Human rights.

6) Human Rights are universal as they apply to all people indiscriminately.

7) Human Rights serves as a check of abuse of power over the vulnerable.

8) According to an article titled “Human Rights Facts & Figures”, it was observed that women have been denied the knowledge,and freedom to act in the best interest of themselves and their children.

9) In “Abuses, Statistics, Child Abuse, Gang Violence & Child Soldiers”it was stated that worldwide there are about 246million child laborers.

10) The 10th of December is a set date for the celebration of human rights.

11) From the UN Declaration on Human rights, everyone is entitled holiday with a pay.

12) In Kazakhstan, Domestic violence is not an offence.While in Russia, there is no legal definition of domestic violence.

13) In 2018,the UN Human rights,WHO and UN women declared ” virginity testing” as violation of Human rights.

14)The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into nearly 400 languages, making it the most translated document in the world.

15) In 2011, access to the internet is declared a basic human right.

Importance of Literature Review in Social Sciences/Humanities

Literature review is an essential part of academic work. My deep understanding of literature review emerged from my Bachelor’s degree up until my Ph.D. degree. As students we are not believed to be experts of the topic, therefore, the following are what I have learnt about the importance of literature review;

  • Identify contribution to knowledge: This is a key fact in any research work, most topics have existing knowledge which are vital to broaden ones knowledge as a researcher. According to my Ph.D supervisor (Dr. Brian ), understanding the existing knowledge of your research through scholarly works will help you in identify your contribution to knowledge and setting research question. The essence of every research work is to address something different or discover something new. This will give an affirmation to the audience that your work is valid and you have done your home work properly before concluding or having a position on a topic. The more the scholarly works, articles and books, the more expertise you will be.
  • Understand your Methodology & Theoretical framework: Adopting the right methodology to your research is very important and can be achieved by understanding the existing knowledge. Research methodology across disciplines differ, it is necessary to put that into consideration and read through previous works in order to adopt the right methodology. This also applies to the theoretical framework as the theories that will be adopted needs to be understood thoroughly.
  • Improve Writing and Critical thinking skills: It will be difficult to enhance this skills if you do not expand your knowledge. My personal way of improving my critical thinking skills is by reviewing a literature review, writing my contributions about the scholarly work, what I expect from the author, understanding the validity and reliability of the research. This has helped me in analyzing my personal research work as a third party. This is an idea acquired during training sessions at the Centre of Academic Writing at Coventry University. The understanding of how to place arguments in a research will be ameliorated, not everyone are good at writing. Therefore, if you are in that situation, it will be of great importance to read as many literatures as possible, this way you can understand how writers write.
  • Networking: In the context of networking, I denote relating with scholars in your field. A personal experience is when I started my Ph.D., I found great a significant book ‘Corporal Punishment of children: A human rights violation’ by Susan Bitensky, she is a professor of International human rights. My interest aligned with hers, I couldn’t help but get in touch with her for advice and to commend her work as well. I wouldn’t have come across her work if I didn’t engage in a lot of literature review. In addition, networking is needed for collaborations, publications and so on.

My conclusion is that in academic work especially in the social sciences, reading is a vital tool.

I hope you find this helpful? kindly let me know your suggestions, thoughts and experiences, as it can be useful to me and to other audience.

Thanks.